Apple inexplicably chose to not spec a 3G radio for the iPhone, but at the same time refused to create an open platform for developers. If the only way to use non-Apple apps is through Web applications then it seems likely that the slow-as-molasses-in-January AT&T data network is going to make for a HORRIBLE experience.
- Lack of 3G
- Closed platform
- Lack of SD memory slot
- Phone locked to AT&T
- Limited Bluetooth
- Non-replaceable (by user) battery
I guess Apple had to hold a few "features" back for "iPhone 2"
First, I question the premise, "inexplicable." It seems to me that Apple did explain why no 3G. AT&T. It is ironic that this week AT&T promised to more than double the number of markets with 3G. Of course, the truth is that they have hardly covered any new markets since the merger. Unlike those large cities covered before the merger, those since have been small. They raise the market count for a minimum of investment.
This week screen shots of the controls for the 3G iPhone leaked. They suggest that users will be offered a choice between persistent 3G and battery life. Design is difficult and involves hard choices.
(For purposes of continuity, I will come back to the next two questions.) That begs the question of why AT&T. The answer is that the US is a pilot market. I think Apple chose GSM because CDMA is both closed and US only. Having chosen the world, in the pilot market, they chose the arguably best US carrier.
If Apple chose GSM because it is open, then why lock to carriers in general and AT$T in particular? As it did with iTunes, Apple is changing the business model for cell-phones. It wants both unlimited data and a participation in the carrier revenues. Carrier specificity seems a small price to pay.
That leaves SD, Bluetooth, user-replaceable battery, etc. (which includes GPS). Well, as I said, design is difficult. I decline the bread and butter; one has to draw the line somewhere.
In spite of all the (hard) choices that Apple made, where many of us might have chosen differently, the iPhone has changed the game. It is not only successful, it is iconic. It was the Treo killer and has forced changes to the Blackberry. (RIMM responded well and the Blackberry is a stronger product for it. Palm did not respond well and the Treo is dead.)
In the next six weeks, we can expect Apple to respond to many of your suggestions. While I will happily plunk down half a grand for a 16G/3G iPhone, I also expect to spend a lot for software (I prefer easy to "free"). I bet that Apple will also have a pleasant surprise or two for us.